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Friday Box Office: ‘Space Jam’ Plunges 77% As ‘Black Widow’ Fails To Get A Bounce

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at January 1, 1970

Space Jam: A New Legacy fell 77% on Friday while Black Widow isn’t getting the kind of third-weekend recovery that greeted Spider-Man: Homecoming and Ant-Man and the Wasp.

In holdover news, Black Widow earned $3.5 million (-56%) on its third Friday, bringing its 15-day domestic cume to $147 million. It’ll cross $150 million domestic today and earn around $11 million (-57%) for a $154 million 17-day cume. That’s indeed a sharper drop than Spider-Man: Homecoming (-49% in weekend three after a 62% drop in weekend two) and Ant-Man and the Wasp (-43%/-62%), both of which opened on this weekend with comparatively frontloaded openings (around 2.3x the Friday gross) and with then-record second-weekend drops for an MCU movie. Both films rallied after the second weekend and legged out for the rest of the summer. Black Widow isn’t quite doing that. All relevant circumstances notwithstanding, Black Widow is legging worse than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II.

That famously frontloaded mega-movie had earned 1.88x its then-record $169 million opening weekend, including a 72% drop in weekend two and a 53% drop in weekend three. Black Widow opened with $80 million, dropped 68% in weekend two and now sits with a likely 57% drop in weekend three for what will be a 1.925x multiplier. If this continues, then the Scarlett Johansson-led MCU prequel will end its run with around $185 million domestic. That’s disappointing, but not disastrous considering the likes of Ant-Man ($181 million in 2015), Thor ($181 million in 2011) and Captain America ($176 million in 2011). More problematic is the lost income in the post-theatrical revenue chain due to the Disney+ factor, along with the film’s still uncertain future in China.

I’d still assume a Chinese release after the blackout period, but likely piracy will likely suppress what could have a $125-$155 million gross. Without China, Black Widow may not get to $400 million worldwide in raw theatrical earnings. It’s still likely to be the biggest domestic earner of the summer. If the Disney+ “Premier Access” availability is indeed a temporary fix for a temporary problem, then releasing Black Widow now was a matter of getting it off the docket so that bigger, more surefire hits like Spider-Man: Far from Home, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder could step up. Black Widow was never going to be Thor 3-huge. That it ended up closer to Thor than Thor 2 is a single result of a singular circumstance.

Meanwhile, NATO bagging on Black Widow and folks arguing that the slight underperformance of a prequel starring a dead character was proof that superhero fatigue had finally arrived provided a nice distraction for Warner Bros.’ Space Jam: A New Legacy. Yes, $31 million was a better-than-hoped debut weekend, but we’re still talking about a $150 million flick with uncertain overseas prospects that had little chance to reaching $100 million domestic. And now the LeBron James/Bugs Bunny flick earned just $3.075 million (-77%) on its second Friday, setting up a likely $8.8 million (-72%) second-weekend gross and $50.9 million ten-day cume. That’s bad, no matter how you slice it, among the ten worst drops ever for a $30 million-plus opener and the fourth-biggest for a non-horror flick on that scale.  

F9 continues to chug along as the one undisputed mega-blockbuster of the summer. The ninth Fast & Furious film (or tenth including Hobbs & Shaw) earned $1.33 million (-41%) on its fifth Friday for a $4.46 million (-42%) weekend gross and $163.16 million 31-day domestic cume. Come what may, it should end up just over/under the $173 million cume of Hobbs & Shaw while potentially becoming the leggiest straight-up Fast Saga sequel since Tokyo Drift ($63 million/$24 million in 2006). It passed $600 million early this week and we’ll see how it held up in its new markets as it makes a play for $700 million. Sure, that’s well below the $1.236 billion cume of Fate of the Furious, but Universal viewed Hobbs & Shaw ($760 million) as the ceiling this time out.

Sony’s Escape Room: Tournament of Champions will sadly drop 65% in weekend two with a $3.06 million weekend and $15.8 million ten-day cume. Boss Baby: Family Business will earn $2.57 million (-46%) in weekend four for a $50 million cume, or about what the first film opened with in 2017. The Forever Purge will gross $2.35 million (-43%) in weekend four even as it arrives on PVOD for a $40.38 million 24-day cume. Considering the soft-ish $12 million launch, this one will get a lot closer to The Purge ($64 million in 2013 from a $34 million launch) than I dared hope. Oddly enough, it’s the leggiest chapter yet. A Quiet Place part II lost 628 theaters in weekend nine, earning around $1.09 million (-51%) in 1,367 theaters for a $157.37 million domestic cume.


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